Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nicholas Kristof and World Vision

Kristof has just written an excellent article favourable to faith-based organisations, HT John Hobbins. He mentions World Vision as a case in point,
    World Vision now has 40,000 staff members in nearly 100 countries. That’s more staff members than CARE, Save the Children and the worldwide operations of the United States Agency for International Development — combined.


    Some liberals are pushing to end the longtime practice (it’s a myth that this started with President George W. Bush) of channeling American aid through faith-based organizations. That change would be a catastrophe. In Haiti, more than half of food distributions go through religious groups like World Vision that have indispensible networks on the ground. We mustn’t make Haitians the casualties in our cultural wars.
There is a good reason why Kristof is free to praise World Vision. This organisation is unequivocal about woman's equal participation in decision-making. There is no mamby pamby about male hierarchy being just as good as equality from World Vision. World Vision is not afraid to step outside of the middle ground. No nonsense about promoting love patriarchy in Africa.

Those who believe that it is okay to deprive women of equal participation in decision-making, are at odds with World Vision and with Kristof, no matter how much they protest otherwise. Here is World Vision's statement on women,
  • Create programmes and raise awareness among men and women to acknowledge and alleviate the burdens of women’s triple role in their home, workplace, and community, and promote women’s equal participation in decision-making.
  • Enhance the social support system to enable women to work outside of the home by providing free/subsidised and good quality day-care centres for infants and elders.
  • Governmental and international agencies, NGOs, employers, and trade unions must ensure equal rights and equal pay for all women.
  • Women in leadership must be encouraged to build their capacity, confidence, assertiveness, and leadership skills while increasing the number of female staff who serve as role models. At the same time, men must be made aware of the shared benefits of gender equality, enabling them to relate to and work positively with empowered women.
  • Furthermore, World Vision suggests partnership with social institutions such as churches, council of elders, community leaders and other sources of influence to remove barriers that prevent women from full participation.
  • Educate men and women on shared gender roles that allow familial and social equity leading to households and societies where both genders have equal opportunities and access to resources and decision making.
If you don't encourage equal participation in decision-making for women then you can't agree with this statement. It is now time to stop pretending that you believe women have equal human dignity. You don't, even though you say that you do.


Lydia said...

Just a side note. My couins were missionaries in West Africa for 20 years. The government came to them all the time to help with food distribution. What is more, when my cousin's husband was out in the bush doing this or planting churches,his wife led the church, taught and shepherded the men and women, etc.

This is one reason why they left the SBC as missionaries. They could not, in good conscience, sign a document that said women could not teach men. it just was not possible in that environment.

Qohelet said...

I tried volunteering for World Vision, having been a donor beforehand, only to find out that I needed to sign/affirm a statement of faith. They're happy to accept my money but unwilling to accept my labor because I'm a nonbeliever? That's a bit of a turn off for me.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I certainly don't blame you. I would truly dislike having to sign a statement of faith. Perhaps it is just as well, though, so that non-faith-based ventures can attract more volunteers.

Anonymous said...

In 1915 the world's population was just 1.8 Billion people. In 2009 the world's population was 6.8 Billion people. In the past 94 years the world's population has increased by 5 Billion people. That's only one lifetime. In 500 years that will be over 25 Billion people. If there is poverty, starvation, global warming and a hole in the ozone layer now, what do you think it will be like in 500years? Save your generations from suffering a miserable and horrible end. And it will end by either a nuclear war or over population. Either way is going to be pure hell. Stop creating and if you have children tell them when they grow up not to create. Please help spread this message to the entire world. God is forever, but we ain't.